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Re: 1985 D Liberty pure zinc penny

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Posted by JeffK on July 20, 2008 at 17:03:22:

In Reply to: 1985 D Liberty pure zinc penny posted by Debra Olson-Hedke on July 19, 2008 at 16:38:40:

Ok, here goes.

I can think of at least 3 things that would cause a mid-1982 or later cent to be silver in color.

1. It's a coin that was accidentally not sent through the copper-plating process after being struck. That's a real Mint error and it can be quite valuable. A fully-unplated zinc cent might retail in the $100 range, although of course a dealer would pay wholesale.

2. It's a properly-plated coin that was dipped in acid to remove the copper plating.

3. It was plated a second time with another metal covering the original copper.

#s 2 and 3 are simply damaged coins that would have no extra value. The only way to be sure would be to have the coin examined in person by an expert. If they concur that it's likely to be an error your next step would be to have it certified by one of the grading agencies. That would cost some bucks but would give your coin a "provenance", to sound like Antiques Roadshow.

Also, FWIW, it's always called a _Lincoln_ cent; ALL U.S. coins have the word LIBERTY on them so that isn't anything that identifies a modern coin.

Now as to the second item, at the risk of sounding a bit both snide and frustrated, did you try putting a phrase like

Lincoln Kennedy cent OR penny

into Google? You'll get zillions of hits that will tell you the coin is nothing more than a novelty item made as a so-called collectible. Millions have been made and there are at least as many postings asking what they are; the answer is always the same. These coins are often mounted in a holder with a list of supposed "astonishing coincidences" between the two presidents' lives. If you had the original holder there are actually people who will pay a couple of bucks for the set, but without it the bad news is that you have nothing but a damaged penny. Plus, as the father of a woman who works as a historian, I can say that many of the so-called "coincidences" require more than a little fact-stretching!

: Hi, I was told this is a rare and expensive penny and and do not know coins well. It is not copper coated and appears to be pure zinc. Also I have a 1973 copper penny with 2 impressions on the front. It looks to me like Lincoln and a smaller Kennedy profile. I would appreciate any help or references you could help me with. Thanks so much, Deb

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